Browsing articles in "Slice of Life"
Feb 21, 2013
Samantha Angela

Four Things

I’m loving my new Adidas tights. They’re thin, super soft and smooth, and my stomach doesn’t show when I wear shorter tops because the waist is nice and high. That’s normally not a very flattering cut, but since they have horizontal stitching just above the butt it makes them look good in spite of the high waist.

Also they’re kinda wild and much more exciting than the blacks and greys I normally wear (even though they’re, ya know, still black and grey).

Adidas Tights

I started out 2013 by keeping a day-by-day calendar. I wanted it to track my weightlifting progress but it’s become more like a journal and I’ve been filling it in every day with not only my workouts but also noting cool things I’ve cooked, interesting news headline I’ve read, and what the “Best Part of The Day” was. I think it’ll be interesting to look back on at the end of the year.

2013 Day by Day Calendar

I’m three quarters of the way through Storm of Swords, the third book in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Holy Shit it’s good. I basically spend all my spare time reading, speaking like I live in the Middle Ages, and saying things like “I am the Mother of Dragons!” and “You know nothin’ Jon Snow” in British accents.

Storm of Swords

I started Cycle 3 of my 5/3/1 Training programme and it’s been going well. I haven’t done a full recap of Cycle 2 because it wasn’t much different from Cycle 1. My loads were similar but I was able to squeeze out more reps in my final working set, so I felt accomplished.

Cycle 3 is already starting out as a challenge which is already starting to excite me. The testosterone will be raging.


Feb 18, 2013
Samantha Angela

Drinks and ‘Skating’

Three cheers for a day off! It’s Family Day and I’m relaxing on the couch with Bagigis after a good workout and a few chores. It’s a nice change from Monday mornings in the office that’s for sure.

This weekend we went out to celebrate my friend Tina’s birthday which was this week. Last weekend I made her a panettone for her birthday (I’m trying to hone my panettone making skills) which turned out pretty good, though I think I would have liked it a bit sweeter.

Panettone (8)

This weekend we went out to celebrate.

The plan was to go ice skating at Charles Clark Square downtown Windsor and then head for drinks somewhere. Since we ended up getting at least an inch of snow that afternoon, the rink was closed for cleaning when we got there so we headed straight for the bar instead—The Kilt and Fiddle.

Tina's Birthday

Late in the night when we had our fill of drinking we decided to try skating again. . . only everyone was too cold to bother putting their skates (except one brave soul: Kyle) on so we ended up just sliding around the ice in our shoes.

Charles Clark SquareTina at Charles Clark SquareMe at Charles Clark SquareThe Group at Charles Clark Square

I really wanted to actually skate . . . but at least I still have a few weeks of cold weather ahead of me to get out on the ice.

Happy Birthday Tina!

Tina's Birthday

Feb 13, 2013
Samantha Angela

Lent 2013

It’s Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras, aka Paczki Day, aka Shrove Tuesday, aka one of my favourite days of the year.

Our social committee at work gave away paczki which was amazing because I wasn’t planning on buying any but I wanted one really badly. It was a good start to my day.

Dinner, naturally, was pancakes and sausage. I made these Swedish Pancakes from the NY Times. The recipe uses whipped egg whites to leaven the batter which made for some really light pancakes, but I found that they collapsed and lost a lot of their lift when I put them in a low oven to keep warm. They’re at their most delicious right out of the pan, which makes it tough to prepare them for more than one person.

So with today being Mardi Gras that can only mean tomorrow is Ash Wednesday or the beginning of Lent, the annual Christian 40 day diet fasting period.

As with last year and the 2 years before that I’m giving up sugar for Lent.

No more cookies or jam or candies or vanilla spice lattes. No more sugar at all. Not for the next 40 days at least.

I find giving up sugar extraordinarily hard. Harder than going vegan (’cause vegans can eat sugar) but I’m going to do my very, very best to stick with it.

Also for Lent I want to work on being less judgmental. I catch myself judging others a lot. I’m not a very empathetic person and I want to change that (or at least be more aware of it). I want to try to be more open-minded to what makes people do whatever it is I’m judging them for. I think it could make me a much more understanding person.

What are you giving up for Lent?

Feb 11, 2013
Samantha Angela

Fun Board Games

We spent Saturday night playing board games with my family. I love board games. I’ll always pass on playing cards (I hate cards) but not Board Games. They’re exciting and fun and they can get people out of their shell.

I like any kind of board game but some more so than others. Trivia games make me viciously competitive. Puzzle games make me feel like an idiot (especially when I play against the husband). So I particularly games that are lighthearted and involve lots of shouting and big groups of people.

Here are some Fun Board Games that are my favourites.



We play Things a lot with our friends, mostly because you can play it anywhere and you don’t even need to own the game to play. It just takes some pens, strips paper, and creative minds to come up with your own “Things” to get this game going. Like, Things Sam never does in the kitchen. . . or Things you would never tell your grandma. . . or anything like that.




Catch Phrase

This was a big hit with our family a couple years back and I think it needs to make a comeback. It’s loud and rowdy and easy to pick up and play with just about anyone. And, the more the merrier.




I’ve never played this game and kept any kind of score; it’s more of a fun activity than a competitive game. The whole process of drawing pictures and guessing what they are supposed to be can get pretty damn ridiculous if you’re playing with the right crowd.

To get the idea, this tumblr is genius: The Horrors of Scribblish. You’re welcome.




Cranium has it all: words, acting, drawing, and trivia. It’s a really good game to play with a big group of people because it gets pretty wild.


And then there’s My All Time Favourite . . .

Monster Mash

Monster Mash

There are not a lot of things I would say that I am extraordinarily skilled at, but I’ll freely admit that at Monster Mash I am prodigious. I don’t think I’ve ever been beaten and I blow the competition out of the water. . .

. . . unfortunately that means no one ever wants to play :(

What are your favourite board games?

Feb 8, 2013
Samantha Angela

35 Donations

Blood Donation

Since I was in university I have been donating blood with Canadian Blood Services every 56 days, that is, every time I’m eligible.

There were times I had to delay my donations because my iron is too low to make the cut, or I had travelled to a malaria risk country, or I got a piercing, but I always go back as soon as I can.

Today I had my 35th donation.

And also I broke the 4 minute barrier for the first time. That’s right, I pumped out a pint in 3:58 something that the phlebotamist said she only sees happen once every 3 or 4 years and never in a woman. Why yes, I am bragging.

I didn’t get a sticker or a pin or anything like that to commemorate number 35. But I did get cookies that I luxuriously dunked in milk.

Feb 3, 2013
Samantha Angela

Whence I Blog

Nicole at Just Live It had the fun idea for Bloggers Like Us where a group of bloggers to answer one question a month.

This month is

Where do you blog from most often?

I probably do most of my blogging from my desk. I do spend an ample amount of time on my computer in the kitchen and in the living room, but that’s just for referencing recipes or browsing the internet.

When it comes to sitting down to actually write, I’m most comfortable at my desk.

Blogging Spot

Jan 24, 2013
Samantha Angela

Happy Birthday!

Wishing a very happy birthday to my favourite. . .



Football Coaching

Wine Tasting



Jan 10, 2013
Samantha Angela

12 Months of 2012 – pt. 2

Read  Part 1, my January to June recap here.


This epic month involved two and a half glorious weeks in Greece, which has been my dream vacation for so long.

We explored the labyrinthine streets of Chania, hiked the gorges of Loutro, visited the Minoan palace of Knossos in Heraklion, saw the blue domed churches and whitewashed buildings of Santorini and took in ancient Greek culture at the archaeological sites of Athens.

Chania Crete (34)

Matt and I had our 4th wedding anniversary.

I had my champagne birthday27 on the 27th.

And for my birthday Matt and I went to Chicago to experience the best new restaurant in the US, Next, and their Sicily menu– 13 courses including this roasted pork shoulder, the most delicious piece of meat I’ve ever eaten.

Pork Shoulder


I was an extra in a movie.

I’m ready for my close up!

I was inspired by the summer Olympics to start incorporate Olympic Weightlifting (Cleans, Jerks, & Snatches) into my workouts and I’ve been loving them ever since.

And I started a plan to lose 6cm from my waist, which is still in progress right now, but may have stalled a bit over the Christmas holidays. I’m tracking my progress in the right sidebar.

Progress Sept 1 2012


I cooked up a big batch of my favourite soup ever: Fire Roasted Corn Chowder.

Fire Roasted Corn Chowder

My ciabatta bread won second place at the sham show otherwise known as the Harrow Fair. The judges must have taste buds in their eyes since they managed to pick a winner without even tasting the bread.

Harrow Fair (9)

I kicked off the long and boring football season by going to the Detroit Lions home opener at Ford Field with my dad, his girlfriend Silvia, and Matt. I admit it was an exciting game with the Lions scoring the winning touchdown in the last 10 seconds.

Matt and I in Ford FieldMatt and I in Ford Field


I captained a team in the Run for the Cure for the 7th consecutive year in honour of my mom who passed away from breast cancer in 2006.

Run for the Cure 2012

I went Apple Picking.

Apple Picking at Wagner's

And I dressed up as Mary Poppins for kicks Hallowe’en and handed out full-sized chocolate bars.

Mary Poppins


I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K race in downtown Chicago with Vicki and Tina that culminated with a hot chocolate and fondue party in Grant Park.

Hot Chocolate 15K ChicagoTina, Vicki, and me post race.

I got a personal record on my deadlift with a 225lb lift.

I watched Matt coach his football team to their first ever division victory.

Lasers Coaches. Matt is second from the left.

I baked these amazing Filipino date & walnut bars appropriately named Food for the Gods.

Photo Source


I did 14 straight days of Moksha Hot Yoga.

I switched up my weightlifting routine to build strength in 2013 with Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 programme.

I finished the year with yet another wonderful Holiday Season where I cooked a lot, got together with my family, watched my stunning cousin marry her perfect match, and ate fondue with friends.

The Melting Pot

Read Part 1, my January to June recap here.

Jan 8, 2013
Samantha Angela

12 Months of 2012 – pt. 1

Yes, I’m still recapping my 2012.

It was a good year in that it wasn’t a bad year and sometimes that’s the best we can hope for, right?

You can read Part 2, July through December here.


I start 2012 off with a bang in January by accomplishing my biggest goal for the year: a marathon. I never thought that running a marathon would be so much fun, but Disney knows how to plan an epic event, that’s for sure.

In spite of having a terrible bout of runner’s trots (naturally) and stopping at every mile for photo ops with Disney characters, I managed to finish in 5:15. Not too shabby!

You can read all about it here.

Of course the marathon also meant travel to Orlando where my friend Tina and I hit up Magic Kingdom, and both Universal Studios parks. I finally got to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it was Seuss Landing that really captured my heart.


The Lorax

Later in the month Matt and I went to Niagara-on-the-Lake for his birthday and the Icewine Festival.

Busy month!


In February I started learning to play the guitar somewhat spontaneously after years and years of wanting to do it. The hobby stuck with me and I pick up my guitar to practice nearly every day.


I also went to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago while on a trip to visit my sister Vicki.



I went bowling with Matt and saw a private screening of The Hunger Games premiere.

I also wrote a post about a poll indicating that Black Women are Heavier and Happier with their Bodies than White Women which got a lot of attention.

“F.A.T. means fabulous and thick, full and tasty, fluffy and tender.” – Mo’nique


I celebrated Easter with my favourite Lebanese foods.

I made my own Homemade Fig Newtons. . . multiple times. And ate them all.

Homemade Fig Newtons

And I wrote about how “Athletic” is a stupid way to describe female body types; my favourite body image post this year.


I started more seriously swapping out my steady state, moderate intensity cardio exercise for more Interval Based Conditioning exercises like Terrible Twenties and Gut Busters and Sled Push Substitutes. Later I also started doing more tabata sprints as well.

Matt and I went on a date to Colasanti’s a greenhouse/petting zoo/amusement park/banquet facility hybrid. (I know, the concept really doesn’t make much sense unless you’re from Essex County).

Me and a Goat

And I made Homemade Clotted Cream for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which I thought was a disaster but it actually tasted really good. I consulted Joe Pastry who called it a success, so I stopped worrying about it and enjoyed my tasty butterfat.

Of course I had to make cream scones to go with it.


I went to the Freedom Fest – one of the biggest fireworks displays in the world – which is right on the Detroit River.


And I actually didn’t fuck up a batch of granola for once! I baked this dangerously good granola and didn’t even burn it.

Best Ever Granola

Read Part 2, July through December here

Jan 6, 2013
Samantha Angela
1 Comment

Top 10 Posts from 2012

My 2012 posts with the most pageviews were really versatile and included everything from body image to recipes to travel to weightlifting. I’m a veritable Martha Stewart.

Turns out that in 2012 people really liked when I wrote about naked women and baking soda. . . but not necessarily together.

10. Women and Nudity and the Awkwardness of it All

The post where I talk about naked women and how I appreciate the changing room’s token nude.

The more effort we put into covering up our imperfections by hiding our bodies from other women then the less real, unaltered images of female bodies we are exposed to.

9. Best Homemade Soft Pretzels

Pretzels (4)

The post where I declare Alton Brown’s soft pretzel recipe the best ever and talk a little about baking soda chemistry.

The key to making soft pretzels with a chewy interior and a crispy, deep brown crust is an alkaline bath.

8. Top 5 Things To Do in Chania, Crete

Chania Crete (25)

I juuuuust realized now that I blogged about my entire trip to Greece this summer except Athens! Woops. Loutro was my favourite stop in Crete, but Chania was also very charming.

Chania is a beautiful city. It’s old town area has really quaint winding alleys that are great for tourists to explore.

7. Grenadian Oil Down

Grenadian Oil Down

The post with a recipe for a delicious coconut curry with vegetables and dumplings. I’ve made this recipe several times and it is really good! I’m glad it made the top 10.

Oil Down is the national dish of Grenada and is usually made at a big party on the beach, or so I’ve read. I made this in my kitchen, so it’s not quite as fun, but it still tastes awesome.

6. 6 Day Full Body Lift and Circuit Routine

The post where I offer up a workout plan with 3 strength exercises followed by a circuit of 3 exercises. This wasn’t my favourite routine from 2012, (this Olympic Routine was) but it was pretty popular with readers

With a circuit workout I think I need to change it up more often to keep myself motivated and excited.

5. Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread (2)

The post where I bake Irish Soda Bread. Again I find myself talking about the chemistry of baking soda. Apparently alkalis are popular with the readers.

Matt said that this was the best soda bread he’s had, even though he didn’t like it. And didn’t want to eat it. Not exactly a raving review, but I’ll take it I suppose.

4. DIY Marathon Medal Frame


The post where I make a framed collage of my marathon medal, bib, and pictures.

So after a very minimal time commitment and minimal cost I ended up with a sweet homemade collection of my marathon memories. Fun times.

3. Garbage Can Pizza Oven

Garbage Can Pizza Oven

The post where I eat pizza out of the garbage build a wood fired oven in my backyard out of garbage can and a pile of dirt. True story.

Matt called me at the office, to ask me a very important question after spending much of the morning with Zack digging up our crab grass infested lawn:

“Umm… I got a whole bunch of dirt here, you want to make a garbage can pizza oven?”


2. Girls and Lena Dunham’s Body

The post where I talk about nudity—again—and how much I like seeing Lena Dunham naked. Although I think most people came to this post looking for Lena Dunham porn.

Lena Dunham isn’t terribly fat. Her body is imperfect, so basically she looks completely normal, like most of the women I know, and not at all like the stereotypical ‘perfect’ Hollywood body that we’re exposed to.

1. Fitspo is Not Inspirational

The post where I talk about how ‘inspiring’ images of fit women can be damaging to our body positivity.

Fitspo images aren’t any better for our self esteem than glossy magazine images of dangerously thin models. They’re photoshopped. They’re not attainable. And, quite frankly, they’re not all that healthy either.

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Samantha Menzies
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  • Samantha Menzies is an opinionated young firecracker who just happens to enjoy distracting web surfers with chronicles of her mildly entertaining daily pursuits.

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  • Lose 6cm from my waistline
  • waist/belly button/weight

    Start (Aug 15): 83cm/ 91cm/ 166.8lb
    Aug 31: 82cm /89cm/ 166.8lb
    Sep 10: 83cm/ 89cm/ 166.2lb
    Sep 20: 83cm/ 89cm/ 166.2lb
    Oct 1: 83cm/ 88cm/ 165.6lb
    Oct 10: 82cm/ 89cm/ 166.6lb
    Oct 31: 81cm/ 88cm/ 166.6lb
    Nov 15: 81cm/ 87cm/ 169.4lb
    Dec 1: 82cm/ 88cm/ 170.2lb
    Jan1: 82cm/ 88cm/ 169.4lb
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    Mar 15: 83cm/ 88cm/ 170.0lb
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    Jul 1: 79cm/85cm/ 164.0lb
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